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Photos by Claire Coté Sunshine Wood standing with the tree and plaque she and her family sponsored for her late daughter.

Reflections On Community Connection Days

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The last Community Connection Day of the year took place on Friday, October 15, at the Questa Municipal Park. Eighteen volunteers gathered, despite a biting cold breeze, to help with clean-up and maintenance and bring projects to a close for the season. Volunteers picked up trash, removed invasive thistle plants and overgrown weeds, fixed and shut down the irrigation system for the winter, cleaned around the 19 trees planted in memoriam, and installed the new commemorative plaques at the base of these trees. It was wonderful to see the plaques in place, honoring loved ones. Thank you to Rachel Kuc´, Maria Gonzalez, and Vida del Norte for sponsoring our community lunch on the 15th. It was delicious!

  • Community Connection Days are collaborative, intergenerational days of community give-back and celebration, taking place in and around Questa. The concept was born out of the wonderfully successful initial youth-centered, skatepark planning, tree-planting, and beautification day held at the Questa Park on April 23. Six monthly Community Connection Days followed. A fundraiser for planting trees in memoriam was also launched.
  • In May, a large group of youth and adult volunteers picked up trash and filled prairie dog holes at the park, and then finished the morning at the Questa Farmers Market, pulling weeds and planting in preparation for the start of market season.
  • In June, a small group gathered to continue beautification efforts.
  • In July, a large intergenerational group at the park focused on planting trees and doing general park maintenance.
  • In August, we shifted the focus to supporting the well-being of seniors in our community. A small group of volunteers went directly to the person’s home to help with general clean-up and basic yard maintenance.
  • In September, volunteers met in downtown Questa and split efforts between three projects: painting the new mural on the Questa Farmers Market shipping container, removing elm trees and weeding around the Visitor Center, and chipping removed elm trees at the neighboring historic building and future home of Casa de Cultura. The group also hosted a birthday celebration for one of the volunteers!
  • That brings us to this past month’s efforts, the sixth and last Community Connection Day in October, described above.
  • Consistently coming together in community, showing up for each other, and tending to our shared public spaces is part of ongoing “creative placemaking” efforts in our area. Community Connection Days are made possible by these collaborators: LEAP, Vida del Norte Coalition, Localogy, Taos Behavioral Health Questa SUCCESS Center, Village of Questa, Questa Del Rio News, Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa Farmers Market, North Central Food Pantry, and many community volunteers. Gratitude also goes to the LOR Foundation for providing funding for the initial event on April 23, from which the Community Connection Day series was born.
  • We thank everyone involved for making this community effort possible! We plan to keep the momentum going in 2022. Look for the first Community Connection Day next year at Questa Park around Earth Day, April 22, 2022, when we’ll plant the next round of trees and do the first clean-up of the year. See you then!

Consistently coming together in community, showing up for each other, and tending to our shared public spaces is part of ongoing “creative placemaking” efforts in our area. Community Connection Days are made possible by these collaborators: LEAP, Vida del Norte Coalition, Localogy, Taos Behavioral Health Questa SUCCESS Center, Village of Questa, Questa Del Rio News, Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa Farmers Market, North Central Food Pantry, and many community volunteers. Gratitude also goes to the LOR Foundation for providing funding for the initial event on April 23, from which the Community Connection Day series was born.


We thank everyone involved for making this community effort possible! We plan to keep the momentum going in 2022. Look for the first Community Connection Day next year at Questa Park around Earth Day, April 22, 2022, when we’ll plant the next round of trees and do the first clean-up of the year. See you then!

PHOTO ALBUM:

Author

  • Claire holds a Bachelors in Fine Art and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (summa cum laude, 2004) and a Masters in Art and Ecology from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England (distinction, 2008). Claire's anthropological training and global travels inform her work. Her respect for the diversity of planetary ecology and the geo-socio-cultural particularities of Place are the basis for her commitment to environmental and social justice and life-long learning.

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